The Top Things to do in Canberra

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Looking for things to do in Canberra, ACT? Canberra isn't all just politicians - there are plenty of things to do in Canberra, our nation's capital - home to not only the iconic Parliament House but also such other popular attractions as the country's athletic centre the Australian Institute of Sport, the charming beauty of Cockington Green Gardens and the mind-expanding National Science and Technology Centre. Go hot air ballooning, do the Illawarra Fly walk and much more - simply choose your adventure in Canberra from our list of experiences available below!

Select one from the following:

Select one or more from the following:

Top 10 Things to do in - Canberra and surrounds

Australian War Memorial
The National Gallery of Australia
National Portrait Gallery
National Zoo and Aquarium
Hot Air Ballooning
Cockington Green Gardens
Mount Majura Vineyard
Canberra Railway Museum
Parliament House

1. Visit The Australian War Memorial

Location:Treloar Cres, Canberra

The Australian War Memorial is one of the most significant buildings in Australia and is an attraction, museum, archive and tribute all rolled into one. Its size and contents combine to make it an experience that can be as harrowing as it is informative and enjoyable. The Memorial features an array of displays depicting conflicts dating back to Australia’s colonial period in 1788 and covering the likes of World War 1 and 2, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and more modern conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan as well as more general overviews of military history and way of life.

2. Visit the The National Gallery of Australia

Location:Parkes Place E, Parkes

With a collection of over 160,000 individual pieces on display, the large, open spaces are packed with world-class items on permanent and temporary display. The Gallery is divided up into five main sections; Australian Art, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander, European & American, Asian and the Pacific, while unique individual pieces, notably Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles famed work from the 1950’s, feature prominently with an impressive degree of curation.

3. Wander around The National Portrait Gallery

Location:King Edward Terrace, Parkes

Scoring extra points for uniqueness, the National Portrait Gallery is exactly what its name implies, a gallery full of portraits of significant individuals from Australian history. You don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate its offerings, and if you’ve got even a shred of patriotism (or are visiting from abroad and looking to learn about Australian culture) then it’s a place that can keep you occupied for hours.

4. Visit the National Zoo and Aquarium

Location:999 Lady Denman Dr, Weston Creek

For animal and wildlife based entertainment, there’s nowhere in the ACT that can compare to the National Zoo and Aquarium. The only such combined facility in Australia the attraction is set on a relatively compact 7 hectare stretch of land and brimming with both native and exotic animals from both land and sea. It’s a facility that is both clean, comprehensive and well-maintained, and the animals’ cages are generously spacious as opposed to some other facilities where you can’t help but feel sorry for them being closed in.

5. Explore Questacon

Location:King Edward Terrace, Canberra

With an emphasis on interactivity and encouraging active involvement from all ages, Questacon makes learning fun with over 200 exhibits showcasing the likes of the human body, the origin of electricity, the solar system and everything else in between. The facility itself is set out over a series of numbered rooms divided up by theme and laid out over several levels, along with regular shows that take place throughout the day and go into further details about the scientific aspects of each exhibit in a way that both adults and kids can understand.

6. Go Hot Air Ballooning with Balloon Aloft

Location:Commonwealth Ave, Yarralumla

Each morning, Canberra’s clear skies can be seen dotted with splashes of colour suspended in the air as the silhouettes of hot air balloons make their tranquil paths high above the ground. Hot air ballooning is something of an institution in Canberra, highlighted by its annual Canberra Balloon Spectacular. Many people who visit Canberra look to take part in their own ballooning adventure with local ballooning company Balloon Aloft, an award-winning tour company who aim to provide visitors with the most memorable possible tour of Canberra from above.

7. Explore Cockington Green Gardens

Location:11 Gold Creek Rd, Nicholls

One of the more unique and charming attractions in Canberra, Cockington Green Gardens is a lovingly-crafted, miniature recreation of an English village with an international themed area. The level of detail and care put into the creation of this miniature village is incredible and easy to appreciate; if it wasn’t for the small scale it would be hard to discern the difference between some of the models and the real thing!

8. Visit Mount Majura Vineyard

Location:314 Majura Rd, Majura

Mount Majura Vineyard is an award-winning winery situated on the slopes of Mt Majura on a unique section of red soil. Easily accessible with a 15-minute drive from the Canberra CBD, the vineyard boasts both a pleasant outlook, famously hospitable hosts and some of the best Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and Rieslings in the region. Additionally, the vineyard was also the first official vineyard in the ACT when vines were planted back in 1988.

9. Explore Canberra Railway Museum

Location:Geijera Pl, Kingston

The Canberra Railway Museum is home to the country’s first working train and boasts a collection of carriages and locomotives that are surprisingly comprehensive. At the low entry price of $5, you get a ride from the Canberra Railway Museum to Fyshwick, with all proceeds going towards the restoration of current and future locomotives.

10. Visit the Parliament Houses (Old and New)

Location:Various locations

More than just a seat of government, New Parliament house is an impressive feat of architecture. It also serves as a good starting point for your Canberra exploration with a rooftop lookout that provides great panoramic views over the city and beyond. It’s a very uniquely designed building that still feels modern despite being constructed a fair few years ago now. Old Parliament House, meanwhile, which was the seat of government from 1927 through to 1988, is a regal building in its own right, and now has been converted largely to serve as the home of the Museum of Australian Democracy.